View Full Version : Can I create a multi-caliber 1911 - ejector question

May 31, 2009, 10:52 AM
My subject line says this is an ejector question, and it is, but please give any other issues I missed or that you think would help.

I may never get around to doing this - I've been thinking about it for over a year already - but it is an interesting (to me) subject anyway. I'd like to build a 1911 that can be used for multiple calibers. I'd really like to get rid of all my non-1911 handguns and become a 1911 snob LOL. Ok, not a 1911 snob but I'd like to simplify my life by only having to remember how to disassemble and clean one type instead of remembering how to remove and attach slides on 6 different types of semi-autos.

Fusion Firearm's website shows one ejector for 9mm/.38super/.40S&W/10mm and a different ejector for .45 ACP. Other than this one difference, it seems you could potentially make a single frame convert to any of the above calibers with only a slide and barrel change. *EDIT to add: From what I can tell on their site, the ejector is the only frame part that is different between building a .45 frame and the other calibers listed.

Is this possible or practical? Can you even do what I am considering in the 9mm/.38super/.40S&W/10mm case where the ejector is the same part or would other fit and finish modifications to the frame make even this impractical?

Thanks for any suggestions.

May 31, 2009, 03:42 PM
The main problem here are the dimensions of the breech face. 9mm amd 38 super have a narrower breech face than a .45 ACP. Peters Stahl in Germany (do a search) addressed the problem by using a pair of pivoting extractors on each side of the cartridge which allowed it to work with smaller and larger case rims. About your only other option is to have multiple slides set up for different calibers.

James K
May 31, 2009, 07:46 PM
There are differences, sometimes subtle, in the feed ramps of the three cartridges. That might be worked out, but is something else to consider.


May 31, 2009, 08:03 PM

I'd expect to use different slides. The ejector is a frame part so it's the frame I was hoping to share.

It's not a huge thing anyway, I suppose. I wouldn't have otherwise been looking for anything other than the 9mm and .45 since those are the only two calibers I have now. I guess I can at least simplify by trying to build a couple 9mm 1911s and selling my S&W Sigma.

Then there are the .22 conversion kits for 1911s. Ah, the options abound. That still would let me switch to all 1911s for my semi-autos. :D

I guess it's time to wake up and quit dreaming for a while.

May 31, 2009, 08:05 PM
There are differences, sometimes subtle, in the feed ramps of the three cartridges. That might be worked out, but is something else to consider.

Ramped barrels, perhaps?

June 1, 2009, 08:19 AM
The EAA Witness (Tanfoglio) standard frame can be converted to other calibers by purchasing the kit for the caliber.
The kit includes the slide, barrel and magazine. This is similar to the old Jericho 9-41 (Same CZ style clone) that came with both 9mm and .41 AE parts so you could shoot both from the same gun. The Jericho only required a barrel change instead of the complete top end due to the .41 AE and 9mm cases having the same size head.
The Witness example is more what you're looking for since they use ramped barrels.
This would mean fitting multiple ramped 1911 barrels to your frame as well as the slides.

Jim Watson
June 1, 2009, 08:44 AM
The Commander .45 uses a 9mm ejector placement.
A good man with a milling machine could modify the .45 G.M. slide to pass a 9mm ejector.

Sometimes the ramp shape will be usable for different calibers. You might be limited in bullet choice, a friend of mine with a 9mm upper on a .45 Gold Cup receiver has to pick and choose.

The ejector is not part of the frame. It is a separate piece pinned (or glued in some Springfields) in place. There are people who consider it acceptable to just set the ejector in position and shoot. It is trapped in place by the slide and will not fly out, although it may wiggle around and give erratic ejection patterns.
I would consider this acceptable for a multi caliber play gun but would want a real weapon's ejector to be properly secured.

June 1, 2009, 09:02 AM
Depending on who makes the slide and frame you may need to work the slide clearance or narrow the ejector.

For a 1911 unless you do the work yourself it ends up costing about as much as another gun.

I have done it with ramped barrels and plain barrels.
It can take some tweaking to get shorter 9mm rounds to feed correctly on a frame ramp, but .38 super is usually very easy (it is about the same length as a .45 ACP).